Letters, Friday, June 29th, 2012

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Animals panicked by firework display

I WAS very disturbed reading Kate Fowler’s letter re the Olympic opening ceremony in London, to read that it would involve live animals. Animals can be so frightened by crowds and fireworks.

We had a wonderful weekend at Herrington Country Park when the Olympic torch passed through Penshaw. The weather was horrendous, but the crowds were wonderful and there was so much happening throughout the site.

The Saturday evening firework display was amazing – fireworks of coloured rings and flaming torches. But the noise! Do fireworks have to have such a thunderous noise? I watched the fireworks from outside the country park, on the grassland, adjoining the field with sheep and horses.

As soon as the first firework was set off, about 40 distressed horses and foals bolted across the field, then raced round and round in terror. Fortunately in the stampede, none of the one-day-old foals was trampled.

The pet sheep and lambs followed, bleating continuously. Fortunately, their carer heard and came out of her house, comforting them for about half an hour until they had calmed down.

Firework displays are often a lovely culmination of a day’s event, but surely there must be some quieter displays, particularly where farm animals and pets are close by.

Mrs P. Anne Farrow, Penshaw

Wrong to strike

I THINK it is criminal for doctors to strike over proposed changes to their pensions. Money is one thing, health care issues are another, and people’s lives depend on such services.

The average salary for a GP is more than £100,000 per annum. Do they exist in the same world as us? The NHS family doctor rating system results are shocking – the average score is a lowly 3.5. Many GPs have opted out of working evenings and weekends after signing contracts in 2004.

You can find out how your local health centre scored by logging on to the NHS Choices website and typing in the postcode.

For crying out loud, be happy. You are rich and comfortable. Most folk are not.

Jimmy Chambers, Durham Avenue, Donwell

Minster weekend

I WOULD like to comment on the wonderful weekend of celebrations at Sunderland Minster.

On Friday, the start of a week-long Flower Festival – beautiful. On Saturday, the Diamond Jubilee Choir Festival, with dedication of the new bells. On Sunday evening a Thanksgiving Service for the new Mayor.

A lot of hard work for so much enjoyment. Well done!

Ellen Hunt, Wallingford Avenue, Sunderland

Vaux site plans

ABOUT three years ago I wrote in the Letters Page what this council’s plans would be if they got hold of the Vaux site (which they have now).

I said they would split it up into sections and sell them off to developers for offices, conference centres and houses, or, as a last resort, a car park (and guess what, they are doing just that!).

But their real plan is for a new civic centre overlooking the river for our councillors to enjoy. Next step a nice new magistrates’ court like our neighbours up the road and we call it Magistrates Square (how quaint). Where are the shops, leisure centres and badly needed hotel in their plans?

Why don’t they tell the voters the truth? It would make a nice change from the usual spin.

Like I said at the time, you can read this council like a book. As Linda Colling said in her column, Sunderland is the site of the living dead. Spot on!

D. J. Wright, Appley Terrace, Roker

Is this news?

I HAVE been getting the Sunderland Echo for some years.

I can’t believe that once again you are writing about the so-called love rat. I am not interested in reading about him. I do think a lot of other readers will feel the same way.

It is hard-working people paying tax to keep his kids. It is about time something was done.

Then just as you think it won’t get any worse, you turn over to Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby, who thinks it was good that she was drinking tequila like water – another waste of space in the Echo. I hope to God people watching the show don’t think all the girls from the North are like them. Then she said we have a lot of people who don’t like us. (I wonder why).

They should take the programme off the air. It is so embarrassing. The talk that comes out of them is disgusting. She said she got butterflies when she watched it on TV. She can’t imagine what half of the North East felt like. She also said they should film it in Sunderland. I don’t think that would go down too well. Get a real life.

Mrs J. Nicholson, Cairnside, Sunderland

Costly Cats kit

I’VE been a Sunderland supporter since 1974 but have lived in the Oxford area since 1987. I have got a new shirt for the last three years, but looking at the new away kit online, it seems very costly at £67 and, not knowing what price the home kit is going to be, how can most families with children afford to buy a shirt?

I have seven girls ranging from four to 23. Luckily they don’t all support Sunderland, as there would be no way I could afford to buy a shirt or kit for all my girls.

Does Sunderland Football Club not know we are in a recession and food prices are going up and wages staying the same or going down?

Years ago most people used to complain about Manchester United changing strips every year and now Sunderland are doing it. It wouldn’t be too bad if they were winning everything, but they’re not.

To most families the price of a shirt is a week’s shopping. It’s about time football clubs started to realise that the people can’t keep paying these silly prices every year. We aren’t all on the same wages as footballers.

I’m secretary of a non-league football club, Blewbury. They play in the North Berks League and our players have to pay to play and still have full-time jobs and don’t whine about playing more than two games a week.

It’s about time football clubs started living in the real world. Families on low wages find it hard to live week to week. Can Sunderland Football Club justify the price of a new shirt or kit? Mark Mills

WHILE I applaud the intentions of Sunderland Football Cub’s new sponsor, at the price of the new away top – £50 – I didn’t realise we were all making individual investments in Africa.

Rob Forster, Colchester Terrace, Sunderland

Ship’s golden rivet

RE. the letter from Jim Ridler regarding the alleged silver rivet in Wearmouth Bridge. It took me back to when, as a young lad on my first ship, I was taken down to where the main engine shaft runs through to the propeller – an area known as “the tunnel”and shown the “golden rivet”.

Apparently every ship has one, so if Jim’s pal is still with us I suggests he signs up for a short trip to sea and I’m sure some obliging sailor will show him the said rivet.

A bonus is there would be no climbing involved, only having to bend over to see it.

Tony Robinson, Chantry Close, Chapelgarth

Search Party

I AM trying to get in touch with Carol Hendry. The last I knew of her, above five years ago, she was living in the Seaham area. I believe she still has family there.

I would be very grateful if Carol or anyone who knows her whereabouts could get in touch.

Michael Deary, Tel. 07980 816616